Monday, January 14, 2008

BibleWorks7 Tip 1.10: Studying Parallel Passages

BibleWorks has recently posted Tip 1.10 on Studying Parallel Passages. The Synopsis Window is very handy in BW7, and the tips they provide give you a great overview of what it does and how it works. I very much like that the files are editable (this is especially handy if you want to change the versions that are displayed) and that users can create their own files. Additional synopsis files are available on the unofficial BibleWorks blog. They include ones for:

  • Eusebian Canons (Michael Hanel)
  • Jeff Jackson Synopsis files of Synoptic Gospels (Jeff Jackson)
  • Allusions to Apocryphal books in the NT (Jim Darlack)
  • Matthew OT Quotations Synopsis (Scott Jones)
  • Jim Darlack also provided a canonical Gospels and Gospel of Thomas file included in this ZIP.
If I may (and I will), allow me to make some suggestions for improving this feature in future versions of BibleWorks.
  1. It is not possible to print the texts in their synoptic layout. I realize this is a bit tricky to accomplish. With some multiple copying/pasting, one can use the texts in the Synoptic window and set up a table layout in MSWord.
    By way of comparison, Logos allows for exporting of their synopsis window to TXT [not helpful] or to HTML [which looks great]. One can also do a single copy/paste of the text into MSWord, and the text is presented properly in table layout. As far as I know, however, Logos does not have a multiple version [i.e., Greek and English] resource for the Gospels. It must be possible to do, since Jeff Jackson did create a "Synopsis of OT Quotations in the NT" for Logos that allows for the display of Greek / Hebrew [and then hovering over the reference will give you the English as well]. UPDATE: John Fidel reminded me that the way to see both Greek and English parallels is to open two Parallel Passage windows and set each one to the desired language, and then resize them so that both are visible.
  2. Picky, picky... but the mouse scroll wheel does not work in the upper window.
  3. It would surely help to have a dropdown menu of the synopsis files available rather than having to go through the File > Open > select... process. If nothing else, the file names need to be a bit less cryptic. (I've renamed a bunch of them for myself.)
One hint on using the Synopsis Window: When you are working, for example, in one of the Gospels and you open the Synoptic Window, it will open at the text you were studying... unless the synoptic file you have open does not include it. (For example, you had an OT synoptic file open.) You then need to go File > Open > select a synoptic file. It will open at the first entry in that synoptic rather than at the text you were studying. Instead of trying to scroll through all the entries in the upper window, simply close the Synoptic Window and then reopen it, and it will then open at the desired point.

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